Processing Feedback

I’ve put the manuscript out there. Two of my readers have come back to me. I’m grateful for their honesty and time commitment. I asked for feedback and I got it. It got to me, too! I have changes to make, quite a few.

Honing a manuscript takes time.

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As I reflect on the process of unearthing my anorexic experience, I gain clarity into my unanswered questions. I wrote and rewrote, seven times in all. Why did it take so long? I went through the painful realisations at the rate that I could. As I exhumed, I could access deeper parts of my subconscious, those I’d buried under a veneer of fear and pain.

And so my truth became the manuscript. What I am now realising, is that the emotional work had been done but not its literary counterpart. Having invested so much of myself to get this far, I found it daunting to think that I would have to pare the writing down to its bones! I’m still learning to be a writer.

The transition is not comfortable.  My racy perfectionist wants strokes and struggles with the gritty reality: at least one more draft awaits me. It will include the following:

  • a debunking of extraneous detail
  • revision of plot considering linear over non-linear
  • rationalisation of the voices, the inner world is busy enough
  • allowing the stories tell the story
  • revision of chapter titles
  • tightening of character arcs
  • removal of the pseudonym
  • fleshing out the antagonist a little more; she is a bit light on
  • remove extraneous adjectives, adverbs and gerunds
  • review of sentence structure and variety

Less is more. The irony is not wasted on me. I’m taking a holiday, seeing different things and embracing new experiences. I’m clearing my mind and allowing my perspective to change. All the feedback will be in by then. Considering all four points of view, I shall begin again.

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